Mourning/Warning flags (Primrose Press, 2018) is one in an edition of nine from Tia Blassingame.
The Mourning/Warning flags were described in an online exhibition curated by Booklyn as, "a series of forty-two sewn nylon flags that correspond to people listed in Blassingame’s book works Mourning/Warning: An Abecedarian and the recent Mourning/Warning: Numbers and Repeaters. Each flag represents an African American man, woman or child that experienced violence, is missing, or died from violence or police brutality including Trayvon Martin, Marissa Alexander, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, Phoenix Coldon, and Mario Woods."
Mourning/Warning: An Abecedarian (Primrose Press, 2021 reprint) and Mourning/Warning: Numbers and Repeaters (Primrose Press, 2021 reprint) are each one in a reprint of 26 copies from Tia Blassingame's Primrose Press.
Artist's description: “Stripping the maritime alphabet of its primary colors and replacing them with muted browns and blacks, Mourning/Warning highlights the relationship of Americans of the African diaspora to water, maritime travel and the need for an alternate means of communication in times of emergency and duress. How do you send a warning call that hatred comes constantly in waves?
M/W serves as a method of honoring, mourning, and remembering the slain and wronged as well as teaching our children and ourselves to be vigilant and wary in hostile terrain, where your skin color makes you an easy target.”
In the words of creator Alisa Banks: “Emergence is a book about examining truths in order to develop self-truths. The book consists of 3 pieces – Litany, a series of sayings that my sisters and I heard while growing up; Candle, containing an embedded medallion of St. Michael the Archangel; Election, a symbolic culmination – all relating to my family which hails from rural southern Louisiana.”
While this book is a work of art, it is also meant to be touched, manipulated, used, and read. Banks hopes that students and others will interact with Emergence and through that interaction, will experience a philosophical self-searching. Emergence is about the art of discernment, about questioning the “truths” we grew up with and that surround us and about realizing that things are not always what they seem and should not necessarily be taken at face value.